Atheism v Christianity

Why is Rational Response Squad afraid to debate Paul Manata (see these blog entries)? Who is Paul Manata?, yeah, most people don’t know, but check out his debate with Dan Barker here.

The Squad wouldn’t go near someone such as James White (or any other scholar for that matter) on biblical issues.

Listen to Dustin Segers as he gives a talk on “No Good Reason to Be an Atheist.” Segers also blogged on this topic here, here and here.

Listen also to this lecture “Something Much Too Plain to Say” by K. Scott Oliphint.

You may want to listen the debates between Greg Bahnsen v Gordon Stein, Edward Tabash and George Smith.

Here is a Sound Proof for God’s Existense by Ronald W. Di Giacomo.

You may also want to check out James Anderson’s The Theistic Preconditions of Knowledge: A Thumbnail Sketch.

I would also encourage you to listen to The Narrow Mind audio program with host Gene Cook, Jr. Wednesday is usually “Atheistic Wednesday” where topic dealing with theism and Christianity are address. The Squad will not go on this show either.

You might also want to check out the discussion with (Christians) Gary Habermas and Mike Licona and (atheists) Richard Carrier & Reginald Finley on the topic of the Resurrection of Jesus. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

Mormon in the White House

Greg Koukl had on his program this past weekend (5/6/07) Hugh Hewitt, Dr. Craig Hazen and Dr. John Mark Reynolds to discuss whether Christians can vote for a Mormon.

Here is a link to the audio.

I know the position of Hewitt, but not the other men. I’m currently listening now. It would have been nice if Koukl would have had Bill McKeever or Eric Johnson of Mormonism Research Ministry.

Check out Eric Johnson’s review of Hewitt’s book.

Johnson ends with the following paragraph:

A voter should cast his or her ballot for the person who best represents the voter’s views. But not voting for Romney based in part or in whole on his Mormonism should not be considered bigoted. At the same time, we shouldn’t pretend that we will be able to vote for those candidates who always agree with our spiritual point of view. With the exception of George W. Bush, I have never been sure that any presidential candidate for whom I have voted really was a Born Again Christian, even though all of them attended church and claimed to be Christian. A candidate’s religion should not be a litmus test.

The Trinitarian God is not a “Person,” he is a “Being”?

I encountered something when I first heard JW Apologists Greg Stafford debate Robert Bowman, Jr. and I believe Greg mentioned it in his debate with James White. After I did my Countercult apologetics program with Paul Carden, I had a JW call me on the phone and state the same thing. The point being made by the JW apologist is that Trinitarians make this sharp distinction between God as a being and the three persons of the Trinity.

For some reason, these JW apologists like to tell Christians what they believe, and so one JW apologist recently stated to me “Trinitarians do not believe that the Triune God is a person..

Actually, when I heard Greg state something similar, my first thought was that Greg obviously believes he is making a strong argument against trinitarian theology, therefore a point trinitarians need to address. Many of Greg’s disciples have followed his footsteps, making similar statements.

I am interested in what other Trinitarians think about such a statement. Any thoughts?

John M. Fraiser addresses some of these issues in his paper Person and Substance: Toward an Understanding of Divine Ontology.

JW on the Deity of Christ…Adds nothing to Trinitarianism?

One JW apologists made this comment in reference to a paper I linked to on May 2 by Brian James Wright titled Jesus as Theos: Scriptural Fact or Scribal Fantasy?

For Wright’s article, he is quite correct in that Jesus is called Theos. However, such a teaching does nothing to aid the formation of the Trinitarian doctrine.

Me think this JWs protests too much!

Scientology

Former Scientologists Karen Pressley was a guest this past weekend on The Things That Matter Most. Here is a blurb about the program:

What is it about Scientology that attracts Hollywood stars like Tom Cruise and John Travolta? Our guest, who spent 17 years as a Scientologist and 4 years working at their international headquarters, will discuss her life as a Scientologist and what caused her to leave and choose a new path.

Here is a link to the audio.

Karen has a book coming out titled Escaping Scientology: An Insider’s True Story (New Hope Publishers, 2007). Karen was also a plenary speaker at this years EMNR conference. The audio download is available for $2.50 here.

Sikhism and Mormonism

If the two groups listed above are of interest, then the following articles are for you…

“Neither Hindu nor Muslim: Inside the Universal Brotherhood of Sikhism”, by Natun Bhattacharya and C. Wayne Mayhall.

“Typology 101: Have the Mormons Misunderstood the Meaning of Melchizedek?”, by Ron Rhodes.
Christian Research Journal, Vol. 30, No. 2

Wicca

A new article has appeared on the Apologetics Resource Center Website on the topic of Witchcraft. The author of the article is Keith Gibson and the article is titled Wicca: The New, Old Religion.

A Conversation with Lane Tipton

A break in the regularly scheduled posts at Countercult Apologetics
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Lane Tipton is a man I respect. While I don’t know him personally, I have listened (many times) to all the audio lectures (which isn’t too many) that are online. Dr. Tipton gave me a copy of his doctoral thesis on the Trinitarian Theology of Van Til when I had asked for it (I was working on something myself). While I am heading to Greenville Seminary in the Fall and I’m very excited about this, I would love to sit under Dr. Tipton’s teaching. Dr. Tipton is currently Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary (East).

I recently came across this conversation from Down the Pub as they cover the relationship between the Bible and systematic theology, union with Christ in the New Testament and Calvin, justification and the New Perspective on Paul, and how to engage in theological disputes with godliness and humility.

Here are some additional lectures by Dr. Tipton:

Biblical Theology and Apologetics.

Lectures on the Covenant of Works
Eschatological Focus (Vos)

Judicial Foundations (Kline)

Implications for Human Knowledge (Van Til).

Dr. Tipton also co-edited and authored articles in Revelation and Reason: New Essays in Reformed Apologetics (P&R, 2007).

Teen Witches

This article may interest those who study the occult, especially how it has impacted teens:

“Consumer Witchcraft: Are Teenage Witches a Creation of Commercial Interests?”, by Denise Cush.
Journal of Beliefs & Values, Vol. 28, Is. 1 (2007), 45-53.

Abstract:
The production of books, magazines, kits, films, TV programmes and Internet sites aimed at teenagers, especially girls, on witchcraft, Wicca and related topics, has been a growth industry of the late 1990s and 2000s. This article examines whether Ezzy’s distinction between ‘traditional witchcraft’, a serious religious path, and ‘white witchcraft’, an aspect of consumerism, can be used to understand the phenomenon of ‘teenage witchcraft’. An analysis of some of the materials available and of interviews with young women who identify as witches attempts to answer the question of whether young people are being exploited by commercial interests, or whether the ‘teen witch’ phenomenon cannot be so easily dismissed. The author suggests that at least some young people who identify as witches or Pagans are not mere consumers of exploitative materials, but are well-informed, critical thinkers articulating their own serious spiritual and theological perspectives.
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I would personally recommend:

SpellBound: The Paranormal Seduction of Today’s Kids. Marcia Montenegro (Cook, 2006; ISBN#: 0-7814-4360-1).

Witch Next Door, The: Separating Fact from Fiction about Witchcraft, Wicca, Goddess Worship, and Neo-Paganism. Craig S. Hawkins (Baker Academic, 2006; ISBN#: 0-8010-6557-7).

Teen Psychics, Teen Witches: Youth and the Occult, Marcia Montenegro. Tape #0643.

Baptismal Regeneration (Update)

This article by Dennis W. Jowers maybe of interest to some:

A Reformed Perspective on the Doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration (PDF File).
Western Reformed Seminary Journal, Vol. 14, No. 1 (February 2007).

Somewhat related to this matter, if you know what I mean, is Dustin Segers’ recent post What About The Thief On The Cross? (posted 5/3/07).

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